I went to Dr. Andrew Weaver’s talk on climate change, well, in fact about how climate change was communicated. It was an inspiring talk, and totally explained why people living in North America, especially the US, do not believe global warming or climate change.
Essentially, first, there are special interest groups. And special interest groups probably influence politics. A strategist once wrote a memo to the GOP basically saying that they need to make sure people believe that the global warming is uncertain among scientists, by somehow let scientists and engineer to say it for them.
Second. US media/journalism like to do “balanced” reports. They state some facts first. And they interview scientist who say the temperature is indeed rising. Then they interview other people who oppose global warming or deny human contribution. These people probably are totally not credible at all when examined by scientific peer review standard. About 50% and 70% reports between a studied 5 year period or so, on newspaper/magazines and TV, are these “balanced” reports. No wonder Americans are so confused! But this is not the first time nor the only case where media can sway public opinions.
Third. The special interest groups are still working. Rumors were spread ahead of Copenhagen meeting. And he expect more coming this year because of ad hoc or UN meeting in Bonn and Mexico this year. And yes people confuse more snow last winter with global warming is probably hoax.
I am not going to reproduce all of his talk and it is also impossible.
But what’s interesting to me, is that although we know US media hate global warming, the conservative party and people hate it, US media still give it 50-70% “balanced” reports which supposedly present opinions from both sides.
From my nonscientific perception, reports about China are about 20-30% “balanced”. Apparently they hate China more than global warming.
It’s the trust issue between US and China. And trust cannot be earned when there are no basis for it. Unless there are a lot of underground negotiation we are not aware of. But without both countries’ involvement, stop global warming is like… impossible.